Friday, June 02, 2006
Colleagues defend Sidney judge
By DIANE WETZEL , The North Platte Telegraph
North Platte colleagues of embattled Cheyenne County District Judge Kristine Cecava are speaking out in her defense.Cecava's sentencing last month of convicted sex offender Richard Thompson to 10 years intense supervised probation on two counts of felony child sexual assault has created a national uproar, with extensive coverage on network television and talk radio. The media has focused on Cecava's comment regarding Thompson's "physical size," and her statement that, "I don't think you will do well in prison."Thompson is five feet, one inch tall.Cecava also referred to Thompson's "basic ability to cope with people, and quite frankly, I shake to think of what might happen to you in prison."
Lindemeier said Cecava listens to both sides of any case."She weighs many factors, but always takes a close interest in how an individual's actions have affected the victim and the community."Lindemeier said Cecava takes her responsibility to the law seriously."She recognizes what a horror child abuse is," Lindemeier wrote. "Studies have been done that show community corrections can be a much more effective way of handing offenders while saving taxpayer dollars."Programs for sex offenders on probation have rigid requirements, Lindemeier said. .........
community corrections are a more effective way to handle offenders that rape are are pedophiles? I HIGHLY DOUBT THAT. well, i just DON'T believe it. AT ALL as a matter of fact. this judge may just be the best judge in the world but she made a mistake.
Online Privacy Again at Issue
The government asks Internet firms to keep records longer to track terrorists and child pornographers. But some fear misuse.
By Joseph Menn, Times Staff WriterJune 2, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO — Big Internet and telephone companies are girding to fight an unprecedented call by the Bush administration for them to keep detailed records of customers' online activities for two years.The request by Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III would dramatically expand the government's ability to track what people do online and with whom they communicate.
It follows disclosure this year that the Justice Department had solicited potentially billions of online search queries from some of the same companies and that the National Security Agency had requested calling records of virtually all U.S. customers.Gonzales and Mueller asked Google Inc., Time Warner Inc.'s AOL and other companies to preserve the data at a May 26 meeting, citing their value to investigations into child-pornography distribution and terrorism. Internet companies typically keep customer histories for only a few days or weeks...........
kind of cool discovery i think!
Remains are identified as a boy pirate
By Michael Levenson, Globe Staff June 2, 2006
He was a boy, no more than 11, when pirates captured the ship he and his mother were sailing on in the Caribbean. As he watched the pirates haul off the ship's cargo of sugar and tobacco, John King made a decision: He would leave his mother and join the pirate crew, led by Captain Sam Bellamy.
Now, 290 years later, King's remains -- his fibula, silk stocking, and shoe -- have been identified among the wreck of Bellamy's ship, the Whydah, 1,500 feet off the coast of Wellfleet. While teenage pirates were common in the 18th century, King is considered to be the youngest ever identified.
Researchers excavating the Whydah used 18th century Caribbean court records and modern forensics to make the determination.
Their find opened a window onto the strange and brief life of a young boy swept up in a lost world of ocean piracy.
``It's a whole touchstone to a period in history which is often misunderstood or it's been twisted around by all these novels," said Ken Kinkor, a historian at the Expedition Whydah Sea-Lab and Learning Center in Provincetown, which made the discovery. ``Even though we find treasures, the best treasures aren't always gold or silver. It's the knowledge we get from the past."
King's tale ranges through the Caribbean, to the coast of Venezuela, and finally to his watery grave off Wellfleet. It involves high-seas plundering, an appearance by the Puritan clergyman Cotton Mather, and a public hanging in Boston.
The boy's journey first entered the official records on Nov. 9, 1716. That is the date recorded in an Antiguan court deposition when Bellamy hoisted a black flag aboard his sloop, the Marianne, and attacked the Bonetta, the ship on which King and his mother were sailing, en route from Antigua to Jamaica........
and don't forget your pirate name generator
talk like a pirate
Public health and religion: Aids, America, abstinence...
Uganda was a beacon of hope in Africa's struggle against HIV, but the Christian right's grip on US policy is undermining this effort with fatal consequences, reports Oliver Duff from Kampala
No No sex! No No Sex!" The chant startles slumbering bats from their trees, repeated until you are left in no doubt that the 3,000 students crammed around this swimming pool really mean what they shout.
"Praise God, I have been saved!" says Isaac Ichila, 24, with a young crowd hanging on every word. "We are fighting the enemy of humanity which is HIV/Aids. It is killing us. I was a drunkard and I slept with 17 women before university. So I took the pledge to abstain from sex and have kept my promise to God. I am physically and psychologically pure."
Isaac is one of those who gather every Saturday night to listen to pro-chastity music and sermons at Uganda's prestigious Makerere University. Abstinence-until-marriage pledge cards fly around for students to sign. Simon Peter Onaba, 24, cautions a friend against flirting with women. "Sex is a progression," he warns. "One minute, you are holding hands with a girl, the next kissing. Don't go in a room with one man and one woman otherwise your pants will go off! Sex is so powerful." Then the clincher: "Remember condoms don't prevent Aids. They have a high failure rate.".......
.........Health workers see the fingerprints of America's Christian right all over the chastity message and believe the Bush administration is using its financial might to bully them into accepting evangelical ideology at the expense of public health.
Aids may have killed one million Ugandans and infected a further million but the latest crisis seems strange when you consider that foreign donors still hold up Uganda as Africa's Aids success story. What's more, under Bush's 2003 Emergency Plan For Aids Relief, where he pledged $15bn (£8bn) to fighting Aids in the worst-afflicted countries, Uganda receives more US money than ever: doubling in two years to $169.9m in 2006. But that cash comes with conditions: in a gesture to the Christian right in the US, at least one-third of all prevention money must go to "abstinence-only" projects - $10m in Uganda in 2005. Critics counting each new infection in field clinics say this has dangerously skewed Uganda's previous "balanced" approach which seemed to be working.......
........."Abstinence is not a message that children with no money listen to (ms ssebuggwawo, it's NOT a message MANY young people listen to, money or not. we have to be real about this. have our feet plantend on the ground, NOT the heavens)," says Maurisia Ssebuggwawo, 58, a volunteer midwife who gives advice at a local youth club, gated and patrolled by armed guards to protect the paltry stock of Aids drugs. "They need condoms and don't have any, because they are so expensive..........
Thursday, June 01, 2006
i am so angry with myself i could spit! at approximately 11:45 am in broad daylight on a VERY major street in hartford, i missed a photographic opportunity of a lifetime (this was yesterday, wednesday may 31st). i would have won awards, EVERY photography award there is out there. oh, i had my digital camera with me. i take it every place i go. it was stuffed somewhere down in the bowels of my handbag. well, handbag is a misnomer. it's more of a canvas type CASE. it's heavy too. i have a LOT o' stuff in it. consequently i walk rather lopsided at all times (but i'm STILL as graceful as a gazelle). there are several sections of hartford. downtown where all of the insurance companies are. years ago, downtown had giant wonderful department stores. g. fox and company was the biggest and best. it had 10 or 11 floors, i've forgotten the exact number. all of the state of connecticut came out to see their christmas display in december. i loved that store! the north end where i grew up. now it is the 'ghetto' section of the city. it still has some lovely old houses but it has a lot of homes and apartments in ruins too. within the span of the last week, there were SIXTEEN shootings in and around that neighborhood. my friend brian lives on the street i grew up on. he is one of those 'catholic workers' our govmint (rory's word which i just appropriated) is spying on. he was recently arrested at a protest in dc. i believe he is the ONLY white (i mean REALLY white, irish white) person living in that area. anyway, it's a SMALL world. another section is the north meadows. that's where a lot of trucking companies and porno shops are. then there is the south end. the south end was strictly italian back in the day. now it is some italian and very much hispanic. the italian grocery stores and INCREDIBLE bakeries are still there though as well as a ton of the best italian mom and pop restaurants. DAMN they make some FINE FINE FINE food. the section of hartford i was in is called the west end. it has a GREAT mix of people. young ones, old ones, all ethnicities, some VERY nice homes, some not so nice ones. tons of doggies (one of my favorite hounds, nero the pit bull lives in this hood), lots of restaurants of ALL types (authentic mexican, a 1/2 japanese 1/2 korean one, pizza joints by the dozens, and probably more little tiny chinese restaurants than any other place in the world, including china. my favorite pub the half door is in this hood too.
well to get back to what i was really saying......i was stopped at a light on this major hartford artery and i glanced over at the sidewalk to my left. the only thing i could focus on (at first at least) were legs. BARE, CHUNKY legs starting at some cut off daisy dukes (when i say cut off i mean you could practically see heaven) and ending with some open-toed, open-heeled, strappy, platform skanky-ho shoes. oh i did notice her hair too. it was either wet or VERY greasy. she had a comb in her hand and was using it constantly. i instinctively had a feeling deep down in my gut something amazing and wondrous was going to happen. i unzipped my bag and started to fumble around for my camera (see recreation) while never removing my eyes from the vision on the sidewalk. all of a sudden, she bent over from the waist (still combing her hair mind you) and what was left of her daisy dukes disappeared up in her crack. i was frantic at this point. in tears, i couldn't find the damn camera! damn damn damn damn. too late - she stood up (wobbly on those skanky-ho shoes) and the light changed and i had to go. i thought about circling back but i had a very important errand to run. i really wanted not only the picture that would have brought me fortune and fame BUT i really really really needed to know if that poor lonely woman ever found the date she so desperately needed.
PEACE TAKES COURAGE
There is a fifteen-year-old girl in Alabama who is a peace (anti-war) activist. Her name is Ava Lowery. She produces animated films about war and why it is wrong. She has made around seventy animations. The clips express opposition to Bush and the Iraq war.
“I was just so mad about it,” she explains. “And the media are not showing the real images of the war, so I did a lot research and started my own website.”.........
AP: Two Women, One About to Give Birth, Killed in Iraq
Published: May 31, 2006 11:45 AM ET
BAGHDAD Two Iraqi women were shot to death north of Baghdad after coalition forces fired on a vehicle that failed to stop at an observation post, the U.S. military said Wednesday. Iraqi police and relatives said one of the women was about to give birth.Associated Press Television News footage showed the women's bodies wrapped in sheets and lying on stretchers outside the Samarra General Hospital, while residents pointed to bullet holes on the windshield of a car and a pool of blood on the seat.A car entered a clearly marked prohibited area near coalition troops at an observation post but failed to stop despite repeated visual and auditory warnings, the U.S. military said in a statement e-mailed to The AP."Shots were fired to disable the vehicle," the statement said. "Coalition forces later received reports from Iraqi police that two women had died from gunshot wounds ... and one of the females may have been pregnant."The statement said the incident was being investigated...........
Dixie Chicks' latest album debuts at number one
05/31/2006 @ 10:13 am Filed by RAW STORY
From a press release:
As Taking The Long Way debuts at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 best-selling albums chart this week, with first week's sales of 525,829, the Dixie Chicks have become the first female group in chart history to have three albums debut at #1, breaking the record the Chicks established in 2002 when the group's last studio album, Home, debuted at #1 and made them the first female group ever to have two albums debut at #1.
With the #1 debut of Taking The Long Way, the Dixie Chicks have also become the first female group in chart history to have three studio albums occupy the #1 slot on the Top 200.
Taking The Long Way has achieved one of the year's Top 5 first week's sales tallies and has the best first week's sales for any female act on the Top 200 in 2006.
In addition to its chart-topping success in America, Taking The Long Way has just debuted at #2 in Australia..........
North Carolina congressional race gets ugly
05/31/2006 @ 3:34 pmFiled by RAW STORY
Congressman Brad Miller (D-NC) is facing one of the nastiest campaigns in the nation, as supporters of challenger Vernon Robinson race-bait in black neighborhoods and question the Representative's sexual orientation in radio ads set to mariachi music, according to the News & Observer
Brad Miller supports gay marriage and sponsored a bill to let American homosexuals bring their foreign homosexual lovers to this country on a marriage visa," an announcer says in a Robinson-endorsed ad.
"If Miller had his way America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals," the ad continues. "But if you elect Vernon Robinson, that party's over."
The ad can be heard at Robinson's Website at this link.
Excerpts from the lengthy News & Observer piece follow:
......Robinson has already run a radio ad that features mariachi band music playing in the background. "If Miller had his way," says the announcer, "America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."..........
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
but this one was by far the best. a former fbi agent (highly respected i might add) wanted to testify in their defense, but was NOT allowed to (for reasons i just don't understand). big talk is one thing, terrorism is another. are we being hysterical? are we locking people up simply because of which god they believe in? i don't know if they're guilty or innocent. the evidence for guilt is scant at best. it's a long read, but a good one
The Agent Who Might Have Saved Hamid Hayat
For 35 years, James Wedick had been a star at the FBI. When his former colleagues prosecuted a suspected terrorist, he came to the side of the defense and was branded a traitor. By Mark Arax Times Staff Writer May 28, 2006
Before the wins and losses are tallied up and the war on terror goes down in the books as either wisdom or folly, it might be recalled what took place this spring on the 13th floor of the federal courthouse in Sacramento. There, in a perfectly dignified room, in front of prosecutors, defense attorneys and judge, a tall, gaunt man named James Wedick Jr. was fighting for a chance to testify, to tell jurors about the 35 years he spent in the FBI and how it came to be that he was standing before them not on the side of the U.S. government but next to two Pakistani Muslims, son and father, whose books and prayers and immigrant dreams were now being picked over in the first terrorism trial in California.Wedick watched the prosecutor from Washington stand up and call him a hired gun for the defense and say that any criticisms he had about the investigation would only confuse the jury and waste the court's time. He wanted to answer back that he had been the most decorated FBI agent to ever work out of the state capital, and for years prosecutors, judges and juries had nothing but time to ponder the way he busted dirty state senators and mobsters and cracked open the biggest health scam in California history. Yet he could only sit and listen as the judge ruled that by the weight of legal precedence, he would have to be muzzled. In eight weeks of trial, 15 witnesses for the prosecution and seven witnesses for the defense took the stand, yet the one whose testimony might have changed everything never got to tell his story. He never got to trace his metamorphosis to a Sunday morning last June, when he woke up thinking he had seen all the absurdities that a life of crime fighting had to offer only to find the FBI videotape—the confession that would become the heart of the terrorism case—on his doorstep.It had arrived with no small hype: Down the road on Highway 99, the feds had busted up an Al Qaeda sleeper cell in Lodi, a little farm town at the northern edge of the San Joaquin Valley that had gone from the "watermelon capital of the world" in the 1880s to the "Tokay grape capital of the world" in the 1920s to the "Zinfandel capital of the world" today. The community boasted 60 wineries, 36 tasting rooms, a Zinfest in May and its own appellation: Lodi-Woodbridge. Somehow burrowed into the 90,000 acres of grape fields that pleated the rich, flat loam of the Mokelumne River basin was a radical young Muslim carrying a prayer of jihad in his wallet.He had just returned home to Lodi from a terrorist camp in the hills of his ancestral Pakistan. He had been trained there with Kalashnikov rifles and curved swords and target dummies wearing the faces of Bush and Rumsfeld. He was awaiting instructions, via a letter in his mailbox, to bomb hospitals and supermarkets in California's heartland. In the meantime, he was packing Bing cherries on the outskirts of town. The two imams at the small marigold mosque across the street from the Lodi Boys and Girls Club directed the sleeper cell at the behest of Osama bin Laden. They were building a multimillion-dollar school to spread the seeds of Islamic holy war to Pakistani immigrant children up and down the farm belt. If the whole story sounded too bizarre to be true, the 22-year-old jihadist and his 47-year-old father—the neighborhood ice cream man—had confessed to everything on camera........
Council computer system has erection problem
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent(Filed: 31/05/2006)
In the often dull language of planning applications, the word "erection" does not exactly have Benny Hill connotations.
But that is not the way Rochdale borough council's computer system saw it and two e-mails from Ray Kennedy, a lawyer, of Middleton, near Manchester, opposing his neighbour's house extension - and containing the word "erection" - were banned as being sexually offensive.
When the lawyer sent a third e-mail, a planning officer told him that his neighbour's proposals had been given the go-ahead.
Mr Kennedy is considering complaining to the local government ombudsman over the blunder.
A spokesman for the council said: "The software that protects the council's e-mail system from spam and other offensive material is not designed by the council and we do not control which words are blocked...........
faux news said so (that is MORE than enough for me!!!) . tell me, WHAT are these people thinking? do they know the world is round? sometimes i wonder
from think progress via raw story
This weekend on the show “Cashin’ In,” Fox News analyst Jonathan Hoenig asserted that global warming was “bogus,” and “dreamed up” by environmentalists to stop economic development:
There’s no scientific proof that global warming even exists. To be honest, it’s a bogus consensus dreamed up by Greens because they hate industry. They hate advancement. They hate technology…Greens will lead us back to the stone ages.................
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
these are our sons and daughters. the ones who committed this atrocity. the ones who were sent over to iraq. the ones who really don't know what the hell they're doing there. i am SURE they psychologically cracked. who in their right mind could slaughter innocents? understand, i do NOT find them blameless. they should be held accountable but i DO find others far more guilty. king george and his entire court for example. they are ultimately responsible for any and all actions we commit in the middle east. we were sent over based on a pack of lies. we are being killed and maimed and we are killing and maiming others. we stirred up a civil war (which most likely WOULD have happened with or without us, we just helped get the ball rolling) and eventually we're just going to leave. well we ARE building that GIANT base over there (they're calling it an embassy compound, i have to shake my head at that)
over this weekend, i spent ten hours watching the ten episodes of band of brothers and band of brothers. i'll tell you it was quite an intense experience. it drained me. this was a war with (how do i say this???) ummm more of a purpose. an understandable purpose. at least there was more concrete evidence (such as pearl harbor. yes, i know the powers that be probably KNEW about the bombing prior to it happening yet let it happen). i know atrocities happened during that war too. even at home; such as the japanese interment camps. i could not imagine myself in THAT war, world war ii (which my father was in the tail end of; navy on a mine sweeper. he was also in korea) which i most likely would have found justifiable as opposed to THIS 'WAR'. this unjust war based upon lie after lie after lie. get our daughters and sons home NOW
Haditha Massacre: KR Reporter, Last August, Noted Worries There That U.S. Marines Might 'Crack'
NEW YORK New revelations suggest that U.S. marines committed atrociities in Haditha, Iraq, last November, killing at least two dozen civilians after an American was slain by a roadside bomb. Three months before that, Tom Lasseter, longtime Baghdad correspondent for Knight Ridder, filed a report from that area noting concerns that the marines there might "crack under the pressure." Today, on Memorial Day, the Los Angeles Time published a story based on an interview with one of the marines in Haditha that day. Lance Cpl. Roel Ryan Briones claims that he did not participate in the rampage but was involved in the cleanup. He said his worst moment, and one that still haunts him, was picking up the body of a young girl who was shot in the head. "I held her out like this," he said, "but her head was bobbing up and down and the insides fell on my legs."Here is Lasseter's Aug. 28, 2005, story, as it appeared then. Lasseter recently won a top Overseas Press Club award for his reporting from Iraq.*HIT, Iraq -- The inability of U.S. forces to hold ground in Anbar province in western Iraq, and the cat and mouse chase that ensues, has put the Marines and soldiers there under intense physical and psychological pressure. The sun raises temperatures to 115 degrees most days, insurgents stage ambushes daily then melt into the civilian population and American troops in Anbar find themselves in a house of mirrors in which they don't speak the language and can't tell friend from foe. .......
from daily kos via raw story
Mega-church minister linked to paramilitary video game
Sunday, May 28, 2006
if his wishes were to have some type of wiccan symbal mark his grave, OUR COUNTRY SHOULD HONOR HIS WISHES.
an' it harm none, do as you will
you know people STILL have the wrong idea about witches and/or those who practice wicca or one of the many forms of it. wiccans DO NOT celebrate the devil contrary to the belief of some. they DO NOT sacrifice the lives of young children in their cellars contrary to the belief of some. they DO NOT drink the blood of virgins (where can you find one of THOSE these days?) contrary to the belief of some.
wiccans celebrate the earth, life, one another. they practice GOOD NOT EVIL (and if they don't they aren't really wiccan). for me, it's not really a religion, it's a way of life (again, that's just me). for me, i try to be the best person i can. if someone takes the time to TALK to me instead of pre-judging me (on my looks or what others who don't know me say) they will certainly see who and what i am.
Top veteran official joins pentacle debate
By SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press Writer Sat May 27, 8:20 AM ET
Over the years, families have used religious symbols such as the Jewish Star of David, the Christian cross and the Islamic crescent and star to honor their loved ones on headstones and markers. For Sgt. Patrick Stewart's family, the symbol of choice was also from his religion: the Wiccan pentacle.
But of all the symbols and faiths recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Wicca and its emblem — a circle around a five-pointed star — are not among them.
The department is reviewing a request to include the symbol, but when a decision will come is unclear.
That has angered many. The state's top veterans official, Tim Tetz, said he was "diligently pursuing" the matter with Gov. Kenny Guinn, Sen. Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., and Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev.
"Sergeant Stewart and his family deserve recognition for their contributions to our country," said Tetz, executive director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services.
"It's unfortunate the process is taking so long, but I am certain Sgt. Patrick will ultimately receive his marker with the Wiccan symbol," he said Thursday..............